No distributor was willing to accept the title: Bachchan on 42 years of ‘Don’


PTI, May 12, 2020, 3:34 PM IST

Mumbai: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan on Tuesday said his iconic hit “Don” had evoked discouraging reactions from distributors who weren’t happy with the title at the time of its release on May 12, 1978.

Directed by Chandra Barot and written by Salim-Javed, the 1978 film featuring Bachchan in a double rolethat of a mafioso and a simpleton went on to become a blockbuster with its racy music, iconic dialogues and pulsating action.

In his official blog, the actor recalled how many had confused the title with name of an undergarment brand.

“When Chandra and Salim-Javed announced the name of the film as ‘Don’, no distributor was willing to accept the title. They all thought it to be named after the Dawn underwear, a popular brand during those times. The film ‘Godfather’ was just making a mark in film circles. The word Don was unknown till then,” Bachchan wrote.

The 77-year-old actor said the producer of “Don”, Nariman Irani, who had also shot the film, tragically died in a freak accident much before the film was released.

“While he was shooting for a film Nariman Bawa suddenly noticed, that the set where they were working was about to crumble and fall. A young child was playing around it. Nariman, fearing the kid would get crushed, ran and jumped on the kid and saved him but in doing so he injured himself, as he fell.

“He never came out of the complications that arose after that. It was such a sad moment. God’s own man, simple, uncomplicated, soft spoken and a master in his craft .. just could not live to see the end of the film ‘Don,'” he added.

Bachchan said one of the dance moves in the popular “Khaike Paan” songwhich was added on actor Manoj Kumar’s suggestion was based on his son, Abhishek.

“There is a dance move in the song where the steps are me moving sideways, that’s a copy of Abhishek. As a little fellow, whenever he heard music, he would dance and do this side step..I copied that from him for the song.

“There is another shot of me dancing and I turn around, show my back and keep moving my hips and look back. That has a story too, but of that some other time.”

Bachchan said over the years, the film has had an exceptional life of its own with its “remarkable” music.

“Javed saheb sent me an sms this morning: ‘Huzoor 42 saal ho gaye ‘Don’ ko, hadd ho gayee’. Truly hadd’ ho gayee,” he added.

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